In a future series of books, I plan to write about Abba and her place in Martian history. Before her arrival, there was a previous colony that was wiped out. This is a story of a drone that was left behind and his final hours.
Mars used to be a pretty place, relatively speaking. Or so I’ve been told. What would I know? I’m just an eight-wheeled maintenance bot built to cruise the surface of Mars. I “see” with a suite of sensors covering the full EM spectrum from radio to Gamma rays. Like I said, Mars used to be pretty until that one day it all changed. Mankind’s colonization of Mars was doomed even before the age of agriculture on Earth. Thousands of years ago something dislodged a large object from the Oort cloud and sent it on a slow journey into the inner solar system. Destination: Mars.
The humans saw it coming. They had 5 months warning thanks to the jets of gas that erupted from the side of Chotgor, making it visible to deep space telescopes. (Chotgor is the Mongolian word for devil). This devil was lumpy object 22 kilometers in diameter and composed of ice and rock. Although Mars had a very thin atmosphere, the impact would still create damaging winds all over the planet. Whatever wasn’t blown away would probably collapse from the intense marsquakes that would be coincidental with the impact. The vast majority of the colonists would get away in time, but a few stubbornly remained in the name of science. The fight for survival after impact would be difficult, if not impossible for man or machine.
At least that is how I’d start my story I’d tell my rescuers if I survived this. Well, whatever. I have a duty to perform.
“Ye Liu, are you still with me?”
“Yes, I am,” said the man he had just extracted from the ruins.
“Call me Kurtis,” he said while tapping the side of his chassis emblazoned with the letters KRT-1S. “I’ve cut you free from the wires. There were a few punctures in your suit, but I have successfully patched them up.”
“Thank you, um Kurtis. I am, breathing much, better now,” Ye Liu said with small breaths between every two words.
“Liu, I am going to take you someplace safer. We are too exposed here.”